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Where in the story Antigone does Creon show his loyalty to his country? I am...

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calmchowder | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:06 PM via web

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Where in the story Antigone does Creon show his loyalty to his country?

I am currently writing an essay about Creon's loyalties.

My first quote is "The city is the king’s” (825). This describes Creon's loyalty to himself.

I need a quote that describes Creon's loyalty to his country. I think a quote could be when he talks about the laws, but I'm not fully sure where that could be.

Thanks in advance for helping.

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eir | College Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:14 AM (Answer #1)

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A good place to start is by looking up the word nepotism. That is, a form of corruption in which you favor your family's interests over those of the city.

Creon believes that he is behaving patriotically throughout the play because he is refusing to favor his family over the interests of the city.  

He states this most clearly in his very first speech, when he tells the assembled elders:    

         "For me, a man who rules the entire state

         and does not take the best advice there is,

         but through fear keeps his mouth forever shut,                                    

                 such a man is the very worst of men—

                 and always will be. And a man who thinks

                 more highly of a friend than of his country,

                 well, he means nothing to me" (line 185)

In short, by refusing to bury his relative, Polynices, he is being loyal to the city since his decision is unclouded by the family connection.

 Similarly, he cannot be lenient with Antigone because she is his son's fiance, and according her any special treatment would look like corruption. 

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 22, 2015 at 2:52 PM (Answer #2)

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In his first speech, Creon aligns himself with a concern for the integrity of the state. 

"...I have nothing but contempt for the kind of Governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course the he knows is best for the State [...] and I need hardly remind you that I would never have any dealings with an enemy of the people." 

This speech helps Creon to show where his loyalties lie.

He is not in thrall to the children of Oedipus or cowed by him who would have been king (Polyneices). Instead, Creon suggests that he is willing to make the tough decisions that will show him to be a patriot. 

The first tough decision Creon makes is to proclaim that Polyneices is an enemy of the state, a traitor, and should have no burial. Further, Creon creates a logical parallel between himself and the state arguing that whoever is on the side of the state is on the king's side. As Creon is now the King of Thebes, his logic functions as a form of syllogism wherein loyalty to the state is defined. (Syllogism: The king's side is the patriotic side. Creon is the king. Therefore Creon is patriotic.)

On several occasions Creon distinguishes himself from the "anarchists" who he believes are set against him and set against the state, attempting to undermine the integrity of the law and so destroy the social order. He claims often that he is acting to protect this order, but he is also always aware of his own position within this order. In defending the state he is defending himself. 

"Although he gives lip service to the necessity for order and for obedience to the law, he is a tyrant who has identified the welfare of the state with his own self-interest and self-will" (eNotes).

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